Let Hope In – review

Let Hope InSometimes you read a book because you’ve read the author’s previous writings and you like what he/she offers. I picked up Let Hope In based on the recommendation of someone I know and trust. He spoke highly of the author, Pete Wilson, so I thought I would give his book a read. It was a good recommendation.

In Let Hope In Pete Wilson offers four choices people can make that have the potential to be life changing. In the opening chapter, Wilson makes this statement that provides the foundation for the rest of his book: “I’m learning that everyone needs healing. Everyone has been hurt. Some of us have been hurt worse than others, but no one escapes this life without some emotional bruising along the way. And if we haven’t dealt with the hurt from past, it will continue to impact everything we touch.”

Whatever our past looks like, everyone has some type of pain or regret and Wilson offers some insight and encouragement in how to let God bring hope in and help us move past our past. Wilson uses both scripture and stories from people he has encountered to provide practical ways to allow hope into our past experiences and regrets.

One chapter that stood out to me addressed the topic of shame. I appreciated how Wilson addressed the issue of shame. He expressed it this way: Shame is not like guilt. Guilt says, ‘I did something wrong,’ while shame says ‘I am wrong.’…Shame says you are not normal” I thought how he both defined and then addressed the issue was helpful and gave a new perspective on the shame our past can bring.

Let Hope In is a practical resource for anyone who struggles with a difficult past or who desires to walk alongside others working through past issues. I found myself highlighting phrases along the way that were helpful. All of us have a past. How we deal with that past makes the difference.

(I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com® <http://BookSneeze.com&gt; book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)

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Bruises By Train

BruisesWhen I’m on the riding mower, I like to listen to music. I’ve synced some music on my iPhone and like to listen to it while I drive back and forth across my yard. One of my favorite groups to listen to is Train. I like their music and find many of their lyrics unique and entertaining.

One of their songs that gets stuck in my head is Bruises. The chorus says this:

These bruises make for better conversation,
Loses the vibe that separates,
It’s good to let you in again,
You’re not alone in how you’ve been,
Everybody loses, We all got bruises

The idea behind the song is two friends from high school run into each other and share their stories. They talk about failures in relationships and how that has changed them. What jumps out at me is this particular part of the song where one of them comments that he/she would like to go back and change the other person’s past:

I would love to fix it all for you,
I would love to fix you, too
Please don’t fix a thing whatever you do
These bruises make for better conversation…

Even though their pasts are painful, those experiences have shaped who they are as people. While the song doesn’t provide any hope that God can make good things come out of our bad experiences, it does point to the fact that we are shaped by what we go through. Both good and bad experiences, trials and triumphs, impact the people we become. While I think God wants to redeem our past and use them for His purposes, I think Train is on to something in their song.

Plus, it’s kind of a catchy tune.

From This Day Until. . .

I was listening to an interview yesterday with a guy who was a part of the True Love Waits movement.  He said his biggest contribution to the movement was the phrase “from this day until. . .”  Here’s the entire pledge:

Believing that true love waits, I make a commitment to God, myself, my family, my friends, my future mate, and my future children to a lifetime of purity including sexual abstinence from this day until the day I enter a biblical marriage relationship.

He believes this was an important phrase because it deals with the present and the future, not the past.  He commented that all we can do is move from where we are into the future and we can’t go back and change anything in our past.

I thought his comments rang true not only in the area of the True Love Waits pledge, but in all area of our lives. We probably all know people (or maybe we are that person) who won’t/can’t move toward a better future because of mistakes in the past.  They could be things we have done or things done to us.  We can’t change the past; we can’t undo what has been done.  But we can commit from this day until…

That comment wasn’t the main crux of the interview, but really jumped out at me.  God is in the business of taking care of our past.  I just saw a similar idea on Facebook today:  “Don’t remember what God has forgotten.” What we need to do is commit from this day until . . .